Bottom's up! It's time for glogg at Simon's. (Josh Bradshaw/For RedEye )
You could probably set your watch by the debut of glogg at Simon's Tavern in Andersonville. Every year on Thanksgiving Eve, the charmingly divey bar dishes out its first pours of the boozy Swedish drink. But now that temperatures have dipped and holiday shopping has driven us to tears, hot spiced wine seems especially necessary.
So consider this your public service announcement: Glogg season is in full swing. This year, as they have for decades, Simon's serves up $5 cups of the seasonal beverage, which the owners brew in 15-gallon batches using their traditional recipe. The concoction begins with a base of port wine, to which they add brandy, cooked raisins, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom seeds, almonds, orange rinds and two "secret ingredients." Upping the comfort factor, the wine is served with a few cooked raisins and gingersnap cookies.
And while Simon's may brew the best-known glogg in the city, Bucktown's Gallery Cabaret also serves a house-made version of the winter wine. The bar's Swedish owner also blends wine with spices, brandy and raisins, and serves cups of the glogg ($3.50-$4) until the weather warms up-- which, given Chicago's unpredictable weather, sometimes takes glogg season through to spring. Hey, if it's still snowing in May, we'll take all the warmth we can get.
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